Lebanon Daily News Brief 8/24/2021

Tuesday, August 24, 2021


US House Representatives Urge Temporary Protected Status Designation for Lebanon
House Representatives Debbie Dingell and Rashida Tlaib are urging the Biden administration to designate Lebanon for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS would protect Lebanese people in the US from being deported on humanitarian grounds and allow Lebanese nationals on temporary visas to live and work in the US as Lebanon slips further into chaos. Dingell and Tlaib are circulating a letter in Congress to be sent to President Joe Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. [Al Jazeera]

Miqati to Submit a Final Cabinet Lineup
Today or tomorrow at the latest Prime Minister-designate Miqati will submit a final lineup of 24 cabinet ministers to President Michel Aoun. Miqati said that he will not accept any changes, even if that means he must resign. Reports say that US-French pressure pushed Aoun to give up on insisting on certain “provocative” candidates. [Naharnet]

Lebanon to Release World Bank Loan to Poor Families in US Dollars
Yesterday Lebanon’s government agreed to release tens of thousands of cash assistance in US dollars to poor families from the World Bank. The money comes from a $246 million loan from the World Bank that was originally approved by Lebanon in March, but held up because Lebanon’s parliament insisted on issuing assistance to families in Lebanese pounds instead of dollars. The loan is meant to help over 160,000 families in Lebanon. [AP]

Illegally Hoarded Medicines Found in Warehouses Near Sidon
Two warehouses full of hoarded medicines were found near Sidon last night by officials. Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan and security forces inspected the warehouses and found illegally hoarded medical items including lifesaving medicines and infant formulas. The warehouses were sealed overnight and then opened this morning to local pharmacists and the general public for proper distribution. [The Daily Star]

Hospitals Run Low on Fuel, Medicine, and Staff
Hospitals in Lebanon are running low on fuel, medicine, and staff. This year at least 2,500 doctors and nurses have left Lebanon over the country’s dire conditions. With major power cuts, hospitals have had to rely more on generators, which they struggle to keep on amid severe fuel shortages. Hospitals are also running low on medicines, including those critical for cancer patients and dialysis. Amid deteriorating conditions and another COVID-19 surge, Lebanon’s hospitals are reaching a breaking point. [AP]

Find out how to help Lebanon’s hospitals through the Lebanon Relief Project.


Momentum Growing to Obtain Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Lebanese Nationals in the US
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “As the World Bank has indicted, Lebanon is experiencing one of the top three worst economic disasters worldwide since the mid-19th century. UNICEF has raised the alarm about the rapid decline in access to safe water, and UNESCO has chronicled the demise of the educational sector. The indicators are clear, but international efforts to pressure the government to reform continue with no impact. Obtaining TPS and DED are tactics to protect those abroad who can, at an appropriate time, return to Lebanon and aid in its healing and reconstruction. Given the asylum demands for Afghans, Venezuelans, Haitians, and many others from China, Hong Kong, Russia, Iraq, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, it is important to mobilize in support TPS and DED for Lebanese in the US if attention is to be paid to this issue. No one can deny that since the first Lebanese immigrants arrived in the US in the late 1800s, the community has made a constructive and worthy contribution to this country. Despite the hardline anti-immigration position held by many in the US, this is still a cause worth supporting.”

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.